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Revellers take part in the "Plague Doctors Procession" in Venice on Tuesday night during the usual period of the Carnival festivities, most of which have been canceled following the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy. Photo: Andrea Pattaro/AFP via Getty Images

The novel coronavirus has spread from China to infect people in more than 40 countries and territories around the world, killing over 2,700 people.

The big picture: Most of the 80,000 COVID-19 infections have occurred in mainland China. But cases are starting to surge elsewhere. By Wednesday morning, the worst affected countries outside China were South Korea (1,146), where a U.S. soldier tested positive to the virus, Italy (332), Japan (170), Iran (95) and Singapore (91). On Tuesday, new cases were confirmed in Switzerland, Croatia and Algeria.

People buy face masks at a retail store in Daegu, South Korea, on Tuesday, where many of the country's infections have occurred. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images
The closing minutes of trading on the New York Stock Exchange floor on Tuesday. Concerns of the coronavirus becoming a global pandemic saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average lose almost 900 points. There were 57 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. as of Wednesday morning. Most are citizens repatriated from other countries. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images
Revelers at the Nice carnival in France. The country had reported 14 infections by Wednesday morning. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP via Getty Images
Passengers, from Algeria, Libya and Mauritania on a bus after being evacuated from China to Algiers, Algeria, on Tuesday, as the country became the first in Africa to confirm a coronavirus infection. Photo: Fatma Hamdi/Picture alliance via Getty Images
A man who has recovered from the COVID-19 being disinfected by a medical professional before leaving the hospital in Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus, in China. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images
Some Londoners have taken to wearing masks on the tube. There were 13 confirmed coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom as of Wednesday morning. Photo: S.C. Leung/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Coronavirus is a theme at the carnival in Duesseldorf, Germany, which confirmed 18 infections by Wednesday morning. Photo by Fabian Strauch/picture alliance via Getty Images
A medical staff member takes the temperature of visitors to the Singapore Airshow as a precautionary measure. Photo: Roslan Rahman/AFP via Getty Images
Italian urban artist Salvatore "TVBOY" Benintende has depicted Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa wearing a mask and holding a mobile phone reading "Mobile World Virus" in a Barcelona street after the World Mobile Congress was cancelled in the city over coronavirus concerns. Spain had six confirmed cases by Wednesday morning. Photo: Pau Barrena/AFP via Getty Images
Pakistani soldiers patrol in Taftan, near Pakistan's now-closed border with Iran, which confirmed 95 cases by early Wednesday. Photo: Banaras Khan/AFP via Getty Images
The quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship at Daikoku pier cruise terminal in Yokohama, Japan. There had been a total of 691 confirmed infections among passengers and crew by Wednesday morning. Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images
Sanitary workers disinfect Qom's Masumeh shrine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in Iran. The country reported at least 16 coronavirus-related deaths by Wednesday morning. Photo: Mehdi Marizad/Fars News Agency/AFP via Getty Images

Go deeper: The global scramble to contain the coronavirus

Go deeper

23 mins ago - Health

NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for private companies during a Monday interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Why it matters: De Blasio said it was a "first-in-the-nation measure" and will go into effect starting Dec. 27.

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent. 

4 hours ago - Health
Axios Investigates

Documents reveal the secrecy of America's drug pricing matrix

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

American businesses spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year on prescription drugs, and the bills keep getting bigger. But some of the companies promising to help rein in those costs prevent employers from looking under the hood.

Why it matters: Documents provided to Axios reveal a new layer of secrecy within the maze of American drug pricing — one in which firms that manage drug coverage for hundreds of employers, representing millions of workers, obscure the details of their work and make it difficult to figure out whether they're actually providing a good deal.